1548 (not later than). The Thousand and One Nights, Arabian. 12 volumes. Galland's French translation appeared in 1704. This was supplemented by Chavis and Cazotte, and by Caussin de Percival. Monsieur Galland was Professor of Arabic in the Royal College of Paris. He was a master of French and a fairly good scholar of Arabic. He brought his manuscript, dated 1548, to Paris from Constantinople. He severely abbreviated the original, cutting out poetical extracts and improving the somewhat slovenly style. In his translation he gave to English the new words, genie, ogre, and vizier. His work was very popular.
Boulak and Calcutta texts are better than the Galland. They contain about two hundred and fifty stories. The Cairo edition has been admirably translated by Edward W. Lane, in 3 volumes (1839-41) published in London. This is probably the best edition. It also omits many poetical quotations. A recent edition using Lane's translation is by Frances Olcott, published by Holt in 1913. Editions which attempt to be complete versions are by John Payne (13 volumes, 1882-84), and by Sir Richard Burton (16 volumes, 1885-88). Lane and Burton give copious notes of value. The recent edition by Wiggin and Smith used the editions of Scott and Lane.
The stories in Arabian Nights are Indian, Egyptian, Arabian, and Persian. Scenes are laid principally in Bagdad and Cairo. Lane considered that the one hundred and fifteen stories, which are common to all manuscripts, are based on the Pehlevi original. The idea of the frame of the story came from India. This was the birth of the serial story. There is authority for considering the final collection to have been made in Egypt. Cairo is described most minutely and the customs are of Egypt of the thirteenth century and later. The stories must have been popular in Egypt as they were mentioned by an historian, 1400-70. Lane considered that the final Arabic collection bears to Persian tales the same relation that the AEneid does to the Odyssey. Life depicted is Arabic, and there is an absence of the great Persian heroes. Internal evidence assists in dating the work. Coffee is mentioned only three times. As its use became popular in the East in the fourteenth century this indicates the date of the work to be earlier than the very common use of coffee. Cannon, which are mentioned, were known in Egypt in 1383. Additions to the original were probably made as late as the sixteenth century. The Arabian Nights has been the model for many literary attempts to produce the Oriental tale, of which the tales of George Meredith are notable examples.
Thomas Keightley, in Tales and Popular Fictions, considered Persia the original country of The Thousand and One Nights, and The Voyages of Sinbad, originally a separate work. He showed how some of these tales bear marks of Persian extraction and how some had made their way to Europe through oral transmission before the time of Galland's translation. He selected the tale, "Cleomedes and Claremond," and proved that it must have been learned by a certain Princess Blanche, of Castile, and transmitted by her to France about 1275. This romance must have traveled to Spain from the East. It is the same as "The Enchanted Horse" in The Thousand and One Nights, and through Keightley's proof, is originally Persian. Keightley also selected the Straparola tale, The Dancing Water, the Singing Apple, and the Beautiful Green Bird, and proved it to be the same as Grimm's Three Little Birds, as a Persian Arabian Night's tale, and also as La Princesse Belle Etoile, of D'Aulnoy. But as Galland's translation appeared only the year after Madame D'Aulnoy's death, Madame D'Aulnoy must have obtained the tale elsewhere than from the first printed version of Arabian Nights.
No date. The Thousand and One Days. This is a Persian collection containing the "History of Calaf."
1550. Straparola's Nights, by Straparola. This collection of jests, riddles, and twenty-one stories was published in Venice. The stories were taken from oral tradition, from the lips of ten young women. Some were agreeable, some unfit, so that the book was forbidden in Rome, in 1605, and an abridged edition prepared. There was a complete Venetian edition in 1573, a German translation in 1679, a French one in 1611, and a good German one with valuable notes, by Schmidt, in 1817. Straparola's Nights contained stories similar to the German The Master Thief, The Little Peasant, Hans and the Hedge-Hog, Iron Hans, The Four Brothers, The Two Brothers, and Dr. Know-all.
1637. The Pentamerone, by Basile. Basile spent his early youth in Candia or Crete, which was owned by Venice. He traveled much in Italy, following his sister, who was a noted singer, to Mantua. He probably died in 1637. There may have been an earlier edition of The Pentamerone, which sold out. It was republished in Naples in 1645, 1674, 1714, 1722, 1728, 1749, 1788, and in Rome in 1679. This was the best collection of tales formed by a nation for a long time. The traditions were complete, and the author had a special talent for collecting them, and an intimate knowledge of dialect. This collection of fifty stories may be looked upon as the basis of many others. Basile wrote independently of Straparola, though a few tales are common to both. He was very careful not to alter the tale as he took it down from the people. He told his stories with allusions to manners and customs, to old stories and mythology. He abounds in picturesque, proverbial expressions, with turns and many similes, and displays a delightful exuberance of fancy. A valuable translation, with notes, was written by Felix Liebrecht, in 1842, and an English one by John Edward Taylor, in 1848. Keightley, in Fairy Mythology, has translated three of these tales and in Tales and Popular Fictions, two tales. Keightley's were the first translations of these tales into any language other than Italian. Among the stories of Basile are the German Cinderella, How Six got on in the World, Rapunzel, Snow White, Dame Holle, Briar Rose, and Hansel and Grethel.
1697. The Tales of Mother Goose, by Charles Perrault. In France the collecting of fairy tales began in the seventeenth century. French, German, and Italian tales were all derived independently by oral tradition. In 1696, in Recueil, a magazine published by Moetjens, at The Hague, appeared The Story of Sleeping Beauty, by Perrault. In 1697 appeared seven other tales by Perrault. Eight stories were published in 12mo, under a title borrowed from a fabliau, Contes de ma Mere l'Oye. In a later edition three stories were added, The Ass's Skin, The Clever Princess, and The Foolish Wishes. The tales of Perrault were:—
1. The Fairies. 2. The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. 3. Bluebeard. 4. Little Red Riding Hood. 5. Puss-in-Boots. 6. Cinderella. 7. Rique with the Tuft. 8. Little Thumb. 9. The Ass's Skin. 10. The Clever Princess. 11. The Foolish Wishes.
Immediately afterwards the tales appeared published at Paris in a volume entitled, Histoires ou Contes du Temps Passe, avec des Moralites—Contes de ma Mere l'Oye. The earliest translation into English was in a book containing French and English, Tales of Passed Times, by Mother Goose, with Morals. Written in French by M. Charles Perrault and Englished by R.S., Gent. An English translation by Mr. Samber was advertised in the English Monthly Chronicle, March, 1729. Andrew Lang, with an introduction, has edited these tales from the original edition, published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1888. These tales made their way slowly in England, but gradually eclipsed the native English tales and legends which had been discouraged by Puritan influence. In Perrault's time, when this influence was beginning to decline, they superseded the English tales, crowding out all but Jack the Giant-Killer, Tom Hickathrift, Jack and the Beanstalk, Tom Thumb, and Childe Rowland.
1650-1705. Fairy Tales, by Madame D'Aulnoy. In France there were many followers of Perrault. The most important of these was Madame D'Aulnoy. She did not copy Perrault. She was a brilliant, witty countess, and brought into her tales, entitled Contes de Fees, the graces of the court. She adhered less strictly to tradition than Perrault, and handled her material freely, making additions, amplifications, and moral reflections, to the original tale. Her weaving together of incidents is artistic and her style graceful and not unpleasing. It is marked by ornamentation, sumptuousness, and French sentimentality. It shows a lack of naivete resulting from the palace setting given to her tales, making them adapted only to children of high rank. Often her tale is founded on a beautiful tradition. The Blue-Bird, one of the finest of her tales, was found in the poems of Marie de France, in the thirteenth century. Three of her tales were borrowed from Straparola. Among her tales the most important are:—
Graciosa and Percinet. (Basile.)
The Blue-Bird. (Contains a motif similar to one in The Singing, Soaring Lark.)
The White Cat. (Similar to Three Feathers and The Miller's Boy and the Cat.)
The Hind in the Wood. (Similar to Rumpelstiltskin.)
The Good Little Mouse. (Basile.)
The Fair One with the Golden Locks. (Ferdinand the Faithful.)
The Yellow Dwarf.
Princess Belle Etoile. (Straparola.)
The careful translation of Madame D'Aulnoy's tales by Mr. Planche faithfully preserves the spirit of the original.
There were many imitators of Countess D'Aulnoy, in France, in the eighteenth century. Their work was on a much lower level and became published in the Cabinet des Fees, a collection of stories including in its forty volumes the work of many authors, of which the greater part is of little value. Of those following D'Aulnoy three deserve mention:—
1711-1780. Moral Tales, by Madame de Beaumont. These were collected while the author was in England. Of these we use Prince Cherry. Madame de Beaumont wrote a children's book in which is found a tale similar to The Singing, Soaring Lark, entitled The Maiden and the Beast. She also wrote 69 volumes of romance.
1765. Tales, by Madame Villeneuve. Of these we use Beauty and the Beast.
1692-1765. Tales, by Comte de Caylus. The author was an antiquarian and scholar. Of his tales we use Sylvain and Yocosa.
Very little attempt has been made in modern times to include in our children's literature the best of foreign literature for children, for there has been very little study of foreign books for children. Certainly the field of children's literature would be enriched to receive translations of any books worthy of the name classic. A partial list of French fairy tales is here given, indicating to children's librarians how little has been done to open up this field, and inviting their labor:—
Bibliotheque Rose, a collection. (What should be included?)
Bibliotheque des Petits Enfants, a collection. (What should be included?)
1799-1874. Fairy Tales from the French, by Madame de Segur. These tales are published by Winston. We also use her Story of a Donkey, written in 1860 and published by Heath in 1901.
1866. Fairy Tales of all Nations, by Edouard Laboulaye.
1902. Last Fairy Tales, also by Laboulaye.
Tales, by Zenaide Fleuriot. (What should be included?)
1910. Chantecler, by Edmund Rostand. Translated by Gertrude Hall, published by Duffield.
1911. The Honey Bee, by Anatole France; translated by Mrs. Lane; published by Lane.
1911. The Blue-Bird, by Maurice Maeterlinck; published by Dodd.
In Great Britain many old tales taken from tradition were included in the Welsh Mabinogion, Irish sagas, and Cornish Mabinogion. Legends of Brittany were made known by the poems of Marie de France, who lived in the thirteenth century. These were published in Paris, in 1820. In fact, most of the early publications of fairy tales were taken from the French.
Celtic tales have been collected in modern times in a greater number than those of any nation. This has been due largely to the work of J.F. Campbell. Celtic tales are unusual in that they have been collected while the custom of story-telling is yet flourishing among the Folk. They are therefore of great literary and imaginative interest. They are especially valuable as the oldest of the European tales. The Irish tale of Connla and the Fairy Maiden has been traced to a date earlier than the fifth century and therefore ranks as the oldest tale of modern Europe. The principal Celtic collections are:—
Iolo M. S., published by the Welsh M. S. Society.
Mabinogion, translated by Lady Guest. (Contains tales that trace back to the twelfth century.)
Y Cymrodor, by Professor Rhys.
1825. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland, by T. Crofton Croker.
1842. Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers.
1860-62. Popular Tales of the West Highlands, by J.F. Campbell.
Tales, collected and published with notes, by Mr. Alfred Nutt.
1866. By Patrick Kennedy, the Irish Grimm. Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts; Fireside Stories of Ireland (1870); and Bardic Stories of Ireland (1871).
In England the publication of fairy tales may be followed more readily because the language proves no hindrance and the literature gives assistance. In England the principal publications of fairy tales were:—
1604. Pasquil's Jests. Contained a tale similar to one of Grimm's.
1635. A Tract, A Descryption of the Kynge and Quene of Fairies, their habit, fare, abode, pomp, and state.
Eighteenth century (early). Madame D'Aulnoy's Tales, a translation.
1667-1745. Gulliver's Travels, by Dean Swift. (One modern edition, with introduction by W.D. Howells, and more than one hundred illustrations by Louis Rhead, is published by Harpers. Another edition, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is published by Dutton.)
1700-1800. Chap-Books. Very many of these books, especially the best ones, were published by William and Cluer Dicey, in Aldermary Church Yard, Bow Lane, London. Rival publishers, whose editions were rougher in engraving, type, and paper, labored in Newcastle.
The chap-books were little paper books hawked by chap-men, or traveling peddlers, who went from village to village with "Almanacks, Bookes of Newes, or other trifling wares." These little books were usually from sixteen to twenty-four pages in bulk and in size from two and one half inches by three and one half inches to five and one half inches by four and one quarter inches. They sold for a penny or six-pence and became the very popular literature of the middle and lower classes of their time. After the nineteenth century they became widely published, deteriorated, and gradually were crowded out by the Penny Magazine and Chambers's Penny Tracts and Miscellanies. For many years before the Victorian period, folk-lore was left to the peasants and kept out of reach of the children of the higher classes. This was the reign of the moral tale, of Thomas Bewick's Looking Glass of the Mind and Mrs. Sherwood's Henry and His Bearer. Among the chap-books published by William and Cluer Dicey, may be mentioned: The Pleasant and Delightful History of Jack and the Giants (part second was printed and sold by J. White); Guy, Earl of Warwick; Bevis of Hampton; The History of Reynard the Fox, dated 1780; The History of Fortunatus, condensed from an edition of 1682; The Fryer and the Boy; A True Tale of Robin Hood (Robin Hood Garland Blocks, from 1680, were used in the London Bridge Chap-Book edition); The Famous History of Thomas Thumb; The History of Sir Richard Whittington; and The Life and Death of St. George. Tom Hickathrift was printed by and for M. Angus and Son, at Newcastle-in-the-Side: Valentine and Orson was printed at Lyons, France, in 1489; and in England by Wynkyn de Worde. Among the chap-books many tales not fairy tales were included. With the popularity of Goody Two Shoes and the fifty little books issued by Newbery, the realistic tale of modern times made a sturdy beginning. Of these realistic chap-books one of the most popular was The History of Little Tom Trip, probably by Goldsmith, engraved by the famous Thomas Bewick, published by T. Saint, of Newcastle. This was reprinted by Ed. Pearson in 1867.
Of Jack the Giant-Killer, in Skinner's Folk-Lore, David Masson has said: "Our Jack the Giant-Killer is clearly the last modern transmutation of the old British legend, told in Geoffrey of Monmouth, of Corineues the Trojan, the companion of the Trojan Brutus when he first settled in Britain; which Corineues, being a very strong man, and particularly good-humored, is satisfied with being King of Cornwall, and killing out all the aboriginal giants there, leaving to Brutus all the rest of the island, and only stipulating that, whenever there is a peculiarly difficult giant in any part of Brutus' dominions, he shall be sent for to finish the fellow."
Tom Hickathrift, whose history is given in an old number of Fraser's Magazine, is described by Thackeray as one of the publisher Cundall's books, bound in blue and gold, illustrated by Frederick Taylor in 1847. According to Thackeray this chap-book tale was written by Fielding. Speaking of the passage, "The giant roared hideously but Tom had no more mercy on him than a bear upon a dog," he said: "No one but Fielding could have described battle so." Of the passage, "Having increased his strength by good living and improved his courage by drinking strong ale," he remarked: "No one but Fielding could have given such an expression." The quality of the English of this chap-book is apparent in the following sentence, taken from Ashton's version: "So Tom stepped to a gate and took a rail for a staff."
In regard to their literary merit the chap-books vary greatly. Some evidently are works of scholars who omitted to sign their names. In the collection by Ashton those deserving mention for their literary merit are: Patient Grissel, by Boccaccio; Fortunatus; Valentine and Orson; Joseph and His Brethren; The Friar and the Boy; Reynard the Fox, from Caxton's translation; Tom Hickathrift, probably by Fielding; and The Foreign Travels of Sir John Mandeville.
1708-90. Chap-Books. Printed by J. White, of York, established at Newcastle, 1708. These included: Tom Hickathrift; Jack the Giant-Killer; and Cock Robin.
1750. A New Collection of Fairy Tales. 2 vols.
1760. Mother Goose's Melodies. A collection of many nursery rhymes, songs, and a few old ballads and tales, published by John Newbery. The editor is unknown, but most likely was Oliver Goldsmith. The title of the collection may have been borrowed from Perrault's Contes de ma Mere l'Oye, of which an English version appeared in 1729. The title itself has an interesting history dating hundreds of years before Perrault's time. By 1777 Mother Goose's Melodies had passed the seventh edition. In 1780 they were published by Carnan, Newbery's stepson, under the title Sonnets for the Cradle. In 1810 Gammer Gurton's Garland, a collection, was edited by Joseph Ritson, an English scholar. In 1842 J.O. Halliwell issued, for the Percy Society, The Nursery Rhymes of England. The standard modern text should consist of Newbery's book with such additions from Ritson and Halliwell as bear internal evidence of antiquity and are true nursery rhymes.
1770. Queen Mab, A Collection of Entertaining Tales of Fairies.
1783. The Lilliputian Magazine. Illustrated by Thomas Bewick, published by Carnan.
1788. The Pleasing Companion, A Collection of Fairy Tales.
1788. Fairy Tales Selected from the Best Authors, 2 vols.
1770-91. Books published by John Evans, of Long Lane. Printed on coarse sugar paper. They included: Cock Robin, 1791; Mother Hubbard; Cinderella; and The Tragical Death of an Apple Pye.
1809. A Collection of Popular Stories for the Nursery, translated from French, Italian, and Old English, by Benjamin Tabart, in 4 volumes.
1810 (about). Lilliputian Library, by J.G. Rusher, of Bridge St., Banbury. The Halfpenny Series included:
Mother Hubbard and Her Dog; Jack The Giant-Killer; Dick Whittington and His Cat; The History of Tom Thumb (Middlesex); Death and Burial of Cock Robin; and Cinderella and Her Glass Slipper.
The Penny Series included:—
History of a Banbury Cake, and Jack the Giant-Killer, designed by Craig, engraved by Lee.
Of Rusher's books those engraved by the Bewick School were:
Cock Robin; The History of Tom Thumb; and Children in the Wood.
Rusher's books also included:
Mother Hubbard and Her Dog, Cinderella and Her Glass Slipper, and Dick Whittington and His Cat, all designed by Cruikshank, engraved by Branstone.
1818. Fairy Tales, or the Lilliputian Cabinet, collected by Benj. Tabart, London. This was a new edition of the collection of 1809, and contained twenty-four stories. A full review of it may be seen in the Quarterly Review, 1819, No. 41, pp. 91-112. The tales included translations from Perrault, Madame D'Aulnoy, Madame de Beaumont, tales from The Thousand and One Nights, and from Robin Hood; and the single tales of Jack the Giant-Killer, Tom Thumb, and Jack and the Bean-Stalk.
1824, 1826. German Popular Stories, translated by Edgar Taylor, with illustrations by Cruikshank, published by Charles Tilt, London. A new edition, introduction by Ruskin, was published by Chatto & Windus, 1880.
The above are the main collections of fairy tales in England. Many individual publications show the gradual development of fairy tale illustration in England:—
1713-1767. John Newbery's Books for Children. Among these were Beauty and the Beast, by Charles Lamb, 1765, and Sinbad the Sailor, 1798.
1778. Fabulous Histories of the Robins. Mrs. Sarah Trimmer. Cuts designed by Thomas Bewick, engraved by John Thompson, Whittingham's Chiswick Press.
1755-1886. Life and Perambulations of a Mouse; and Adventures of a Pin-Cushion. Dorothy Kilner.
1785. Baron Munchausen's Narratives of His Famous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. Rudolf Raspe.
1788. Little Thumb and the Ogre. Illustrated by William Blake; published by Dutton.
1790. The Death and Burial of Cock Robin. Illustrated by Thomas Bewick. Catnach.
1807. Tales from Shakespeare. Charles and Mary Lamb. W.J. Godwin and Co. William Blake illustrated an edition of these tales, probably the original edition.
1813. Reprints of forgotten books, by Andrew Tuer: Dame Wiggins of Lee; The Gaping Wide-Mouthed Waddling Frog: The House that Jack Built. Dame Wiggins of Lee was first printed by A.K. Newman and Co., Minerva Press. Original cuts by Stennet or Sinnet. Reprinted by Allen, 1885, with illustrations added by Kate Greenaway.
1841. King of the Golden River. John Ruskin. Illustrated by Richard Doyle, 1884.
1844. Home Treasury, by "Felix Summerley" (Sir Henry Cole). "Felix Summerley" was a reformer in children's books. He secured the assistance of many of the first artists of his time: Mulready, Cope, Horsley, Redgrave, Webster, all of the Royal Academy, Linnell and his three sons, Townsend, and others. These little books were published by Joseph Cundall and have become celebrated through Thackeray's mention of them. They aimed to cultivate the affections, fancy, imagination, and taste of children, they were a distinct contrast to the Peter Parley books. They were new books, new combinations of old materials, and reprints, purified but not weakened. Their literature possessed brightness. The books were printed in the best style of the Chiswick Press, with bindings and end papers especially designed. They included these tales: Puck's Reports to Oberon; Four New Fairy Tales; The Sisters; Golden Locks; Grumble and Cherry; Little Red Riding Hood, with four colored illustrations by Webster; Beauty and the Beast, with four colored illustrations by Horsley; Jack and the Bean-Stalk, with four colored illustrations by Cope; Jack the Giant-Killer, also illustrated by Cope; and The Pleasant History of Reynard, the Fox, with forty of the fifty-seven etchings made by Everdingen, in 1752.
1824-1883. Publications by Richard Doyle. These included The Fairy Ring, 1845; Snow White and Rosy Red, 1871; Jack the Giant-Killer, 1888, etc.
1846. Undine, by De La Motte Fouque, illustrated by John Tenniel, published by James Burns.
1846. The Good-Natured Bear, by Richard Hengist Home, the English critic. This was illustrated by Frederick Taylor, published probably by Cundall. The book is now out of print, but deserves to be reprinted.
1847-1864. Cruikshank Fairy Library. A series of small books in paper wrappers. Not equal to the German popular stories in illustration. It included Tom Thumb, 1830; John Gilpin, 1828 (realistic); and The Brownies, 1870.
1847. Bob and Dog Quiz. Author unknown. Revived by E.V. Lucas in Old-fashioned Tales. Illustrated by F.D. Bedford; published by Stokes, 1905.
1850. The Child's Own Book. Published in London. There was an earlier edition, not before 1830. The introduction, which in the 1850 edition was copied from the original, indicates by its style that the book was written early in the nineteenth century. The book was the delight of generations of children. It was a collection containing tales from Arabian Nights, Perrault's tales of Cinderella, Puss-in-Boots, Hop-o'-my-Thumb, Bluebeard, etc., D'Aulnoy's Valentine and Orson, chap-book stories of Dick Whittinqton, Fortunatus, Griselda, Robinson Crusoe, The Children in the Wood, Little Jack, and others. A recent edition of this book is in the Young Folks' library, vol. 1, published by Hall & Locke, Boston, 1901.
1850 (about). The Three Bears. Illustrated by Absalon and Harrison Weir. Addy and Co.
1824-1889. Work by Mrs. Mary Whateley. She had a Moslem school in Cairo and exerted a fairy tale influence.
1826-1887. The Little Lame Prince; Adventures of a Brownie; and The Fairy Book. Produced by Mrs. Dinah Muloch Craik.
1854. The Rose and the Ring, by William M. Thackeray. A modern edition contains the original illustrations with additions by Monsell. Crowell.
1855. Granny's Story Box. A collection. Illustrated by J. Knight; published by Piper, Stephenson, and Spence.
1856. Granny's Wonderful Chair, containing Prince Fairy-foot. Written by Frances Browne, a blind Irish poetess.
1863. Water Babies. Charles Kingsley. Sir Noel Patton. The Macmillan Company.
1865. Stories Told to a Child, including Fairy Tales; Mopsa the Fairy, 1869. By Jean Ingelow.
1865. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), with 42 illustrations by John Tenniel, published by Macmillan Company, Oxford. First edition recalled. Later editions were published by Richard Clay, London.
1869. At the Back of the North Wind; The Princess and the Goblin, 1871. By George MacDonald. Arthur Hughes. Strahan. Reprinted by Blackie.
1870. The Brownies; 1882, Old-fashioned Fairy Tales. By Juliana Ewing.
1873. A Series of Toy-Books for Children, by Walter Crane (1845-1914). Published by Routledge and printed in colors by Edmund Evans. Twenty-seven of these stories in nine volumes are published by John Lane, Bodley Head. Princess Fioromonde, 1880, Grimm's Household Stories, 1882, and The Cuckoo Clock, 1887, all by Mrs. Molesworth, were also illustrated by Crane.
1878-. Picture-Books, by Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886). These were sixteen in number. They are published by F. Warne.
1875-. Stories from the Eddas; Dame Wiggins of Lee (Allen); and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. These delightful books by Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) were published by Routledge and engraved by Edmund Evans. They are now published by F. Warne.
This brings the English side of the subject down to the present time. Present editions of fairy tales are given in Chapter VI.
In Germany there were also many translations from the French of Perrault and D'Aulnoy. There were editions in 1764, 1770, etc. Most of those before the Grimms' Tales were not important. One might mention:—
1782. Popular German Stories, by Musaeus.
1818. Fables, Stories, and Tales for Children, by Caroline Stahl.
1819. Bohemian Folk-Tales, by Wolfgang Gerle.
1812-1814. Kinder und Haus-Maerchen, by Jacob and William Grimm. The second edition was published in 3 volumes in Berlin, by Reiner, in 1822. This latter work formed an era in popular literature and has been adopted as a model by all true collectors since.
Concerning the modern German fairy tale, the Germans have paid such special attention to the selection and grading of children's literature that their library lists are to be recommended. Wolgast, the author of Vom Kinderbuch, is an authority on the child's book. The fairy tale received a high estimate in Germany and no nation has attained a higher achievement in the art of the fairy tale book. The partial list simply indicates the slight knowledge of available material and would suggest an inviting field to librarians. A great stimulus to children's literature would be given by a knowledge of what the Germans have already accomplished in this particular. In Germany a child's book, before it enters the market, must first be accepted by a committee who test the book according to a standard of excellence. Any book not coming up to the standard is rejected. A few of the German editions in use are given:—
Bilderbuecher, by Loewensohn.
Bilderbuecher, by Scholz.
Liebe Maerchen. One form of the above, giving three tales in one volume.
Maerchen, by W. Hauff, published by Lowe. One edition, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, is published by Dutton. The Caravan Tales is an edition published by Stokes.
Maerchen, by Musaus, published by Von K.A. Mueller.
1777-1843. Undine, by La Motte Fouque. A recent edition, illustrated by Rackham, is published by Doubleday.
1817-77. Books by Otillie Wildermuth. (What of hers should be translated and included?)
Hanschen im Blaubeerenwald; Hanschens Skifart Maerchen, both by Elsa Beskow, published by Carl.
Windchen; and Wurzelkindern, both by Sybille von Olfers, published by Schreiber.
Das Maerchen von den Sandmannlein, by Riemann, published by Schreiber.
Der Froschkoenig, by Liebermann, published by Scholz.
Weisst du weviel Sternlein stehen, by Lewinski, published by Schreiber.
In Sweden there appeared translations of Perrault and D'Aulnoy. The Blue-Bird was oftenest printed as a chap-book. Folk-tales were collected in:—
Swedish Tales, a collection. H. Von Schroter.
1844. Folk-Tales. George Stevens and Hylten Cavallius.
Sweden has given us the modern fairy tale, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (2 volumes). This delightful tale by Selma Lagerloef, born 1858, and a winner of the Nobel prize, has established itself as a child's classic. It has been translated by V.S. Howard, published by Doubleday, 1907.
In Norway we have:—
1851. Norske Folkeeventyr, collected by Asbjoernsen and Moe.
1862. Norse Tales. The above tales translated by Sir George W. Dasent.
In Denmark we have:—
Sagas of Bodvar Biarke.
Danske Folkeeventyr, by M. Winther, Copenhagen, 1823.
1843-60. Danmarks Folkesagn, 3 vols., by J.M. Thiele.
1805-1875. Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen. These tales are important as marking the beginning of the modern fairy tale. They are important also as literary fairy tales and have not been equaled in modern times.
In Slavonia we have:—
Wochentliche Nachrichten, by Busching, published by Schottky.
In Hungary we have:—
1822. Marchen der Magyaren, by George von Gaal.
In Greece and Russia no popular tales were collected before the time of the Grimms.
In Italy the two great collections of the world of fairy tales have been mentioned. Italy has also given the modern fairy tale which has been accepted as a classic: Pinocchio, by C. Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini). This has been illustrated by Copeland, published by Ginn; and illustrated by Folkhard, published by Dutton.
In America the publication of fairy tales was at first a reprinting of English editions. In colonial times, previous to the revolution, booksellers imported largely from England. After the revolution a new home-growth in literature gradually developed. At first this was largely in imitation of literature in England. After the time of Washington Irving a distinct American adult literature established itself. The little child's toy-book followed in the wake of the grown-up's fiction. The following list shows the growth of the American fairy tale, previous to 1870. Recent editions are given in Chapter VI.
1747-1840. Forgotten Books of the American Nursery, A History of the Development of the American Story-Book. Halsey, Rosalie V. Boston, C.E. Goodspeed & Co., 1911. 244 pp.
1785-1788. Isaiah Thomas, Printer, Writer, and Collector. Nichols, Charles L. A paper read April 12, 1911, before the Club of Odd Volumes.... Boston. Printed for the Club of Odd Volumes, 1912. 144 pp. List of juveniles 1787-88: pp. 132-33.
1785. Mother Goose. The original Mother Goose's melody, as first issued by John Newbery, of London, about A.D. 1760. Reproduced in facsimile from the edition as reprinted by Isaiah Thomas, of Worcester, Mass., A.D. 1785 (about) ... Albany, J. Munsell's Sons, 1889. 28 pp.
1787. Banbury Chap-Books and Nursery Toy-Book Literature (of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) ... Pearson, Edwin. With very much that is interesting and valuable appertaining to the early typography of children's books relating to Great Britain and America.... London, A. Reader, 1890: 116 pp. Impressions from wood-cut blocks by T. and J. Bewick, Cruikshank, Craig, Lee, Austin, and others.
1789. The Olden Time Series. Gleanings chiefly from old newspapers of Boston and Salem, Mass. Brooks, Henry M., comp. Boston, Ticknor & Co., 1886. 6 vols. The Books that Children Read in 1798 ... by T.C. Cushing: vol. 6, pp. 62-63.
1800-1825. Goodrich, S.G. Recollections of a Lifetime. New York, Miller, Orton, and Mulligan, 1856. 2 vols. Children's books (1800-1825): vol. 1, pp. 164-74.
1686. The History of Tom Thumb. John Dunton, Boston.
1728. Chap-Books. Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia.
1730. Small Histories. Andrew Bradford, Philadelphia. These included Tom Thumb, Tom Hickathrift, and Dick Whittington.
1744. The Child's New Plaything. Draper & Edwards, Boston. Reprint. Contained alphabet in rhyme, proverbs, fables, and stories: St. George and the Dragon; Fortunatus; Guy of Warwick; Brother and Sister; Reynard the Fox; and The Wolf and the Kids.
1750. John Newbery's books. Advertised in Philadelphia Gazette. The Pretty Book for Children probably included Cinderella, Tom Thumb, etc.
1760. All juvenile publications for sale in England. Imported and sold by Hugh Gaine, New York.
1766. Children's books. Imported and sold by John Mein, a London bookseller who had a shop in Boston. Included The Famous Tommy Thumb's Story Book; Leo the Great Giant; Urax, or the Fair Wanderer; and The Cruel Giant, Barbarico.
1787. All Newbery's publications. Reprinted by Isaiah Thomas, Worcester, Mass.
1794. Arabian Nights. The Arabian Nights Entertainments .... The first American edition.... Philadelphia, H. & P. Rice; Baltimore, J. Rice & Co., 1794. 2 vols.
1804. Blue Beard. A New History of Blue Beard, written by Gaffer Black Beard, for the Amusement of Little Jack Black and his Pretty Sisters. Philadelphia, J. Adams, 1804. 31 pp.
1819. Rip Van Winkle. A legend included in the works of Washington Irving, published in London, 1819.
1823. A Visit from St. Nicholas. Clement Clark Moore, in Troy Sentinel, Dec. 23, 1823. Written the year before for his own family. The first really good American juvenile story, though in verse.
1825. Babes in the Wood. The history of the children of the wood.... To which is added an interesting account of the Captive Boy. New York, N.B. Holmes. 36 pp. Plates.
1833. Mother Goose. The only true Mother Goose Melodies; an exact reproduction of the text and illustrations of the original edition, published and copyrighted in Boston in 1833 by Munroe & Francis.... Boston, Lee & Shepard, 1905. 103 pp.
1836. The Fairy Book. With eighty-one engravings on wood, by Joseph A. Adams. New York, Harper & Bros. 1836. 301 pp. Introduction by "John Smith." Edited by C.G. Verplanck, probably.
1844. Fairy Land, and Other Sketches for Youths, by the author of Peter Parley's Tales (Samuel G. Goodrich). Boston, J. Munroe & Co. 167 pp. Plates, Cromo. Lith. of Bouve & Sharp, Boston.
1848. Rainbows for Children, by L. Maria Child, ed. New York, C.S. Francis & Co. 170 pp. 28 original sketches ... by S. Wallin.... B.F. Childs, wood engraver: p. 8. Advertising pages: New books published by C.S. Francis & Co., N.Y.... The Fairy Gift and the Fairy Gem. Four volumes of choice fairy tales. Each illustrated with 200 fine engravings by French artists: p. 2.
1851. Wonder Book, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Illustrated by W. Crane, 60 designs, published by Houghton, 1910.
1852. Legends of the Flowers, by Susan Pindar. New York, D. Appleton & Co., 178 pp.
1853. Fairy Tales and Legends of Many Nations, by Charles B. Burkhardt. New York, Chas. Scribner. 277 pp. Illustrated by W. Walcutt and J.H. Cafferty.
1854. The Little Glass Shoe, and Other Stories for Children. Philadelphia, Charles H. Davis. 128 pp. Advertising pages: A description of illustrated juvenile books, published by Charles H. Davis: 16 pp. A Book of Fairy Stories: p. 9.
1854. The History of Whittington and His Cat. Miss Corner and Alfred Crowquill. Dick Whittington is said to have been the best seller among juvenile publications for five hundred years.
1855. Flower Fables, by Louisa May Alcott. Boston, G.W. Briggs & Co. 182 pp.
1855. The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Published now by Houghton, illustrated by Frederick Remington.
1864. Seaside and Fireside Fairies, by George Blum. Translated from the German of Georg Blum and Louis Wahl. By A.L. Wister. Philadelphia, Ashmead & Evans, 292 pp.
1867. Grimm's Goblins, selected from the Household Stories of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob L.K. Grimm. Boston, Ticknor & Fields. 111 pp.
1867. Fairy Book. Fairy Tales of All Nations, by Edouard Laboulaye. Translated by Mary Booth. New York, Harper & Bros., 363 pp. Engravings.
1867. The Wonderful Stories of Fuz-buz the Fly and Mother Grabem the Spider. By S. Weir Mitchell. Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott & Co. 79 pp.
1868. Folks and Fairies. Stories for little children. Lucy Comfort. New York, Harpers, 259 pp. Engravings. Advertising pages: Six fairy tales published by Harper & Bros.
1870. Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper. Boston, Fields, Osgood & Co. 1871. 8 pp. Colored plates by Alfred Fredericks.
1873. Mother Goose. Illustrations of Mother Goose's Melodies. By Alexander Anderson. New York. Privately printed by C.L. Moreau (Analectic Press), 1873, 36 1. 10 numb. 1. (Designed and engraved on wood.)
1870. Beauty and the Beast, by Albert Smith. New York, Manhattan Pub. Co., 1870. 64 pp. With illustrations by Alfred Crowquill.
This brings the American child's fairy tale up to recent publications of the present day which are given in the chapter, "Sources of Material." An attempt has been made here to give a glimpse of folk and fairy tales up to the time of the Grimms, and a view of modern publications in France, Germany, England, and America. The Grimms started a revolution in folk-lore and in their lifetime took part in the collection of many tales of tradition and influenced many others in the same line of work. An enumeration of what was accomplished in their lifetime appears in the notes of Grimm's Household Tales, edited by Margaret Hunt, published by Bonn's Libraries, vol. II, pp. 531. etc.
In modern times the Folk-Lore Society of England and America has been established. Now almost every nation has its folk-lore society and folk-tales are being collected all over the world. Altogether probably Russia has collected fifteen hundred such tales, Germany twelve hundred, Italy and France each one thousand, and India seven hundred. The work of the Grimms, ended in 1859, was continued by Emanuel Cosquin, who, in his Popular Tales of Lorraine, has made the most important recent contribution to folklore,—important for the European tale and important as showing the relation of the European tale to that of India.
The principal recent collections of folk-lore are:—
Legends and Fairy Tales of Ireland. Croker. 1825. Welsh and Manx Tales. Sir John Rhys. 1840-. Popular Rhymes of Scotland. Chambers. 1847. Tales of the West Highlands. Campbell. 1860. Popular Tales from the Norse. Dasent. 1862. Zulu Nursery Tales. Callaway. 1866. Old Deccan Days. Frere. 1868. Fireside Tales of Ireland. Kennedy. 1870. Indian Fairy Tales. Miss Stokes. 1880. Buddhist Birth Stories. Rhys Davids. 1880. Kaffir Folk-Lore. Theal. 1882. Folk-Tales of Bengal. Day. 1883. Wide Awake Stories. Steel and Temple. 1884. Italian Popular Tales. Crane. 1885. Popular Tales of Lorraine. Cosquin. 1886. Popular Tales and Fictions. Clouston. 1887. Folk-Tales of Kashmir. Knowles. 1887. Tales of Ancient Egypt. Maspero. 1889. Tales of the Sun. Mrs. Kingscote. 1890. Tales of the Punjab. Steel. 1894. Jataka Tales. Cowell. 1895. Russian Folk-Tales. Bain. 1895. Cossack Fairy Tales. Bain. 1899. New World Fairy Book. Kennedy. 1906. Fairy Tales, English, Celtic, and Indian. Joseph Jacobs. 1910-11.
This brings the subject down to the present time. The present-day contributions to folk-lore are found best in the records of the Folk-lore Society, published since its founding in London, in 1878; and daily additions, in the folk-lore journals of the various countries.
Adams, Oscar Fay: The Dear Old Story-Tellers. Lothrop.
Ashton, John: Chap-Books of the 18th Century. Chatto & Windus. London, 1882.
Bunce, John T.: Fairy Tales, Origin and Meaning. Macmillan, 1878.
Chamberlain, A.F.: The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought. Macmillan.
Clouston, W.A.: Popular Tales and Fictions. Edinburgh, Blackwoods, 1887.
Cyclopaedia: "Mythology." Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Cox, Miss Roalfe: Cinderella. Introduction by Lang. Nutt, 1892.
Dasent, George W.: Popular Tales from the Norse. Introduction. Routledge.
Fiske, John: Myth and Myth-Makers. Houghton.
Field, Mrs. E.M.: The Child and His Book. Gardner, Darton & Co.
Frazer, J.G.: The Golden Bough. (Spring ceremonies and primitive view of the soul.) Macmillan.
Frere, Miss: Old Deccan Days. Introduction. McDonough.
Godfrey, Elizabeth: English Children in the Olden Time. Dutton, 1907.
Grimm, William and Jacob: Household Tales. Edited with valuable notes, by Margaret Hunt. Introduction by Lang. Bell & Sons, Bohn's Libraries.
Guerber, Helene A.: Legends of the Middle Ages. (Reynard the Fox) American Book Co.
Halliwell, J.O.: Nursery Rhymes of England.
Ibid.: Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales. Smith, 1849.
Halsey, Rosalie: Forgotten Books of the American Nursery. Goodspeed, Boston, 1911.
Hartland, E.S.: Science of Fairy Tales. Preface. Scribner, 1891.
Ibid.: English Folk and Fairy Tales. Camelot series, Scott, London.
Hartland, Sidney: Legend of Perseus (origin of a tale).
Hewins, Caroline M.: The History of Children's Books. Atlantic, 61: 112 (Jan., 1888).
Jacobs, Joseph: Reynard the Fox. Cranford Series. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Fairy Tales. Introduction, Notes and Appendix. Putnam.
Keightley, Thomas: Fairy Mythology. Macmillan.
Ibid.: Tales and Popular Fictions. Whittaker & Co., London, 1834.
Lang, Andrew: Custom and Myth. Longmans, London, 1893.
Mabie, Hamilton: Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know. Introduction. Doubleday.
MacDonald, George: The Light Princess. Introduction. Putnam.
Magazine: "Myths and Fairy Tales." Fortnightly Review, May, 1872.
Mitchell, Donald G.: About Old Story-Tellers. Scribners. 1877.
Moses, Montrose: Children's Books and Reading. Kennerley.
Mulock, Miss: Fairy Book. Preface. Crowell.
Pearson, Edwin. Banbury Chap-Books and Nursery Toy-Book Literature (18th and early 19th centuries). London. A. Reader, 1890.
Perrault, Charles: Popular Tales. Edited by A. Lang. Introduction. Oxford, 1888.
Ritson, J.: Fairy Tales. Pearson, London, 1831.
Scott, Sir Walter: Minstrelsy of Scottish Border. Preface to Tamlane, "Dissertation on Fairies," p. 108.
Skinner, H.M.: Readings in Folk-Lore. American Book Co.
Steel, Flora A.: Tales of the Punjab. Introduction and Appendix. Macmillan.
Tabart, Benj.: Fairy Tales, or the Lilliputian Cabinet. London, 1818. Review: The Quarterly Review, 1819, No. 41, pp. 91-112.
Tappan, Eva M.: The Children's Hour. Introduction to "Folk-Stories and Fables." Houghton.
Taylor, Edgar: German Popular Stories. Introduction by Ruskin. Chatto & Windus.
Tylor, E.B.: Primitive Culture. Holt, 1889.
Warner: Fairy Tales. Library of the World's Best Literature, vol. 30.
Welsh, Charles: Fairy Tales Children Love. Introduction. Dodge.
Ibid.: "The Early History of Children's Books in New England." New England Magazine, n.s. 20: 147-60 (April, 1899).
Ibid.: A Chap-Book. Facsimile Edition. 1915. World Book Co.
Ibid.: Mother Goose. Facsimile Edition. 1915. World Book Co.
White, Gleeson: "Children's Books and Their Illustrators." International Studio, Special Winter Number, 1897-98.
CLASSES OF FAIRY TALES
But the fact that after having been repeated for two thousand years, a story still possesses a perfectly fresh attraction for a child of to-day, does indeed prove that there is in it something of imperishable worth.—Felix Adler.
Whatever has, at any time, appealed to the best emotions and moved the heart of a people, must have for their children's children, political, historical, and cultural value. This is especially true of folk-tales and folk-songs.—P.P. Claxton, United States Commissioner of Education.
I. AVAILABLE TYPES OF TALES
From all this wealth of accumulated folk-material which has come down to us through the ages, we must select, for we cannot crowd the child with all the folk-stuff that folk-lore scientists are striving to preserve for scientific purposes. Moreover, naturally much of it contains the crudities, the coarseness, and the cruelties of primitive civilization; and it is not necessary that the child be burdened with this natural history of a past society. We must select from the past. In this selection of what shall be presented to the child we must be guided by two standards: First, we owe it to the child to hand on to him his literary heritage; and secondly, we must help him to make of himself the ideal man of the future. Therefore the tales we offer must contribute to these two standards. The tales selected will be those which the ages have found interesting; for the fact that they have lived proves their fitness, they have lived because there was something in them that appealed to the universal heart. And because of this fact they will be those which in the frequent re-tellings of ages have acquired a classic form and therefore have within themselves the possibility of taking upon them a perfect literary form. The tales selected will be those tales which, as we have pointed out, contain the interests of children; for only through his interests does the child rise to higher interests and finally develop to the ideal man. They will be those tales which stand also the test of a classic, the test of literature, the test of the short-story, and the test of narration and of description. The child would be handicapped in life to be ignorant of these tales.
Tales suitable for the little child may be viewed under these seven classes of available types: (1) the accumulative, or clock story; (2) the animal tale; (3) the humorous tale; (4) the realistic tale; (5) the romantic tale; (6) the old tale; and (7) the modern tale.
I. The Accumulative Tale.
The accumulative tale is the simplest form of the tale. It may be:—
(1) A tale of simple repetition.
(2) A tale of repetition with an addition, incremental iteration.
(3) A tale of repetition, with variation.
Repetition and rhythm have grown out of communal conditions. The old stories are measured utterances. At first there was the spontaneous expression of a little community, with its gesture, action, sound, and dance, and the word, the shout, to help out. There was the group which repeated, which acted as a chorus, and the leader who added his individual variation. From these developed the folk-tale with the dialogue in place of the chorus.
Of the accumulative tales, The House that Jack Built illustrates the first class of tales of simple repetition. This tale takes on a new interest as a remarkable study of phonics. If any one were so happy as to discover the phonic law which governs the euphony produced by the succession of vowels in the lines of Milton's poetry, he would enjoy the same law worked out in The House that Jack Built. The original, as given by Halliwell in his Nursery Rhymes of England, is said to be a Hebrew hymn, at first written in Chaldaic. To the Hebrews of the Middle Ages it was called the Haggadah, and was sung to a rude chant as part of the Passover service. It first appeared in print in 1590, at Prague. Later, in Leipzig, it was published by the German scholar, Liebrecht. It begins:—
A kid, a kid, my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid, Then came the cat and ate the kid, etc.
Then follow the various repetitive stanzas, the last one turning back and reacting on all the others:—
Then came the Holy One, blessed be He, And killed the angel of death, That killed the butcher, That slew the ox, That drank the water, That quenched the fire, That burned the staff, That beat the dog, That bit the cat, That ate the kid, That my father bought For two pieces of money: A kid, a kid.
The remarkable similarity to The Old Woman, and Her Pig at once proclaims the origin of that tale also. The interpretation of this tale is as follows: The kid is the Hebrews; the father by whom it was purchased, is Jehovah; the two pieces of money are Aaron and Moses; the cat is the Assyrians; the dog is the Babylonians; the staff is the Persians; the fire is the Greek Empire and Alexander; the water is the Romans; the ox is the Saracens; the butcher is the Crusaders; and the angel of death is the Turkish Power. The message of this tale is that God will take vengeance over the Turks and the Hebrews will be restored to their own land.
Another tale of simple repetition, whose fairy element is the magic key, is The Key of the Kingdom, also found in Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England:—
This is the key of the kingdom. In that kingdom there is a city, In that city there is a town, In that town there is a street, In that street there is a lane, In that lane there is a yard, In that yard there is a house, In that house there is a room, In that room there is a bed, On that bed there is a basket, In that basket there are some flowers. Flowers in the basket, basket on the bed, bed in the room, etc.
The Old Woman and Her Pig illustrates the second class of accumulative tale, where there is an addition, and like Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse, where the end turns back on the beginning and changes all that precedes. Here there is a more marked plot. This same tale occurs in Shropshire Folk-Lore, in the Scotch Wife and Her Bush of Berries, in Club-Fist, an American folk-game described by Newell, in Cossack fairy tales, and in the Danish, Spanish, and Italian. In the Scandinavian, it is Nanny, Who Wouldn't Go Home to Supper, and in the Punjab, The Grain of Corn, also given in Tales of Laughter. I have never seen a child who did not like it or who was not pleased with himself for accomplishing its telling. It lends itself most happily to illustration. Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse pleases because of the liveliness of its images, and because of the catastrophe at the end, which affects the child just as the tumble of his huge pile of blocks—the crash and general upheaval delight him. This tale has so many variants that it illustrates well the diffusion of fairy tales. It is Grimm's The Spider and the Flea, which as we have seen, is appealing in its simplicity; the Norse The Cock Who Fell into the Brewing Vat; and the Indian The Death and Burial of Poor Hen. The curious succession of incidents may have been invented once for all at some definite time, and from thence spread to all the world.
Johnny Cake and The Gingerbread Man also represent the second class of accumulative tale, but show a more definite plot; there is more story-stuff and a more decided introduction and conclusion. How Jack Went to Seek His Fortune also shows more plot. It contains a theme similar to that of The Bremen Town Musicians, which is distinctly a beast tale where the element of repetition remains to sustain the interest and to preserve unity, but where a full-fledged short-story which is structurally complete, has developed. A fine accumulative tale belonging to this second class is the Cossack Straw Ox, which has been described under "The Short-Story." Here we have a single line of sequence which gets wound up to a climax and then unwinds itself to the conclusion, giving the child, in the plot, something of that pleasure which he feels in winding up his toy animals to watch them perform in the unwinding.
The Three Bears illustrates the third class of repetitive story, where there is repetition and variation. Here the iteration and parallelism have interest like the refrain of a song, and the technique of the story is like that of The Merchant of Venice. This is the ideal fairy story for the little child. It is unique in that it is the only instance in which a tale written by an author has become a folk-tale. It was written by Southey, and appeared in The Doctor, in London, in 1837. Southey may have used as his source, Scrapefoot, which Joseph Jacobs has discovered for us, or he may have used Snow White, which contains the episode of the chairs. Southey has given to the world a nursery classic which should be retained in its purity of form. The manner of the Folk, in substituting for the little old woman of Southey's tale, Goldilocks, and the difference that it effects in the tale, proves the greater interest children naturally feel in the tale with a child. Similarly, in telling The Story of Midas to an audience of eager little people, one naturally takes the fine old myth from Ovid as Bulfinch gives it, and puts into it the Marigold of Hawthorne's creation. And after knowing Marigold, no child likes the story without her. Silver hair is another substitute for the little Old Woman in The Three Bears. The very little child's reception to Three Bears will depend largely on the previous experience with bears and on the attitude of the person telling the story. A little girl who was listening to The Three Bears for the first time, as she heard how the Three Bears stood looking out of their upstairs window after Goldilocks running across the wood, said, "Why didn't Goldilocks lie down beside the Baby Bear?" To her the Bear was associated with the friendly Teddy Bear she took with her to bed at night, and the story had absolutely no thrill of fear because it had been told with an emphasis on the comical rather than on the fearful. Similar in structure to The Three Bears is the Norse Three Billy-Goats, which belongs to the same class of delightful repetitive tales and in which the sequence of the tale is in the same three distinct steps.
II. The Animal Tale
The animal tale includes many of the most pleasing children's tales. Indeed some authorities would go so far as to trace all fairy tales back to some ancestor of an animal tale; and in many cases this certainly can be done just as we trace Three Bears back to Scrapefoot. The animal tale is either an old beast tale, such as Scrapefoot or Old Sultan; or a fairy tale which is an elaborated development of a fable, such as The Country Mouse and the City Mouse or the tales of Reynard the Fox or Grimm's The King of the Birds, and The Sparrow and His Four Children; or it is a purely imaginary creation, such as Kipling's The Elephant's Child or Andersen's The Bronze Pig.
The beast tale is a very old form which was a story of some successful primitive hunt or of some primitive man's experience with animals in which he looked up to the beast as a brother superior to himself in strength, courage, endurance, swiftness, keen scent, vision, or cunning. Later, in more civilized society, when men became interested in problems of conduct, animals were introduced to point the moral of the tale, and we have the fable. The fable resulted when a truth was stated in concrete story form. When this truth was in gnomic form, stated in general terms, it became compressed into the proverb. The fable was brief, intense, and concerned with the distinguishing characteristics of the animal characters, who were endowed with human traits. Such were the Fables of AEsop. Then followed the beast epic, such as Reynard the Fox, in which the personality of the animals became less prominent and the animal characters became types of humanity. Later, the beast tale took the form of narratives of hunters, where the interest centered in the excitement of the hunt and in the victory of the hunter. With the thirst for universal knowledge in the days following Bacon there gradually grew a desire to learn also about animals. Then followed animal anecdotes, the result of observation and imagination, often regarding the mental processes of animals. With the growth of the scientific spirit the interest in natural history developed. The modern animal story since 1850 has a basis of natural science, but it also seeks to search the motive back of the action, it is a psychological romance. The early modern animal tales such as Black Beauty show sympathy with animals, but their psychology is human. In Seton Thompson's Krag, which is a masterpiece, the interest centers about the personality and the mentality of the animal and his purely physical characteristics. Perhaps it is true that these physical characteristics are somewhat imaginary and over-drawn and that overmuch freedom has been used in interpreting these physical signs. In Kipling's tales we have a later evolution of the animal tale. His animals possess personality in emotion and thought. In the forest-friends of Mowgli we have humanized animals possessing human power of thinking and of expressing. In real life animal motives seem simple, one dominant motive crowds out all others. But Kipling's animals show very complex motives, they reason and judge more than our knowledge of animal life justifies. In the Just-So Stories Kipling has given us the animal pourquois tale with a basis of scientific truth. Of these delightful fairy tales, The Elephant's Child and How the Camel Got His Hump may be used in the kindergarten. Perhaps the latest evolution of the animal tale is by Charles G.D. Roberts. The animal characters in his Kindred of the Wild are given animal characteristics. They have become interesting as exhibiting these traits and not as typifying human motives; they show an animal psychology. The tales have a scientific basis, and the interest is centered in this and not in an exaggeration of it.
Having viewed the animal tale as a growth let us look now at a few individual tales:—
One of the most pleasing animal tales is Henny Penny, or Chicken Lichen, as it is sometimes called, told by Jacobs in English Fairy Tales. Here the enterprising little hen, new to the ways of the world, ventures to take a walk. Because a grain of corn falls on her top-knot, she believes the sky is falling, her walk takes direction, and thereafter she proceeds to tell the king. She takes with her all she meets, who, like her, are credulous,—Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddies, Goosey Poosey, and Turky Lurky,—until they meet Foxy Woxy, who leads them into his cave, never to come out again. This is similar to the delightful Jataka tale of The Foolish Timid Rabbit, which before has been outlined for telling, which has been re-told by Ellen C. Babbit. In this tale a Rabbit, asleep under a palm tree, heard a noise, and thought "the earth was all breaking up." So he ran until he met another Rabbit, and then a hundred other Rabbits, a Deer, a Fox, an Elephant, and at last a Lion. All the animals except the Lion accepted the Rabbit's news and followed. But the Lion made a stand and asked for facts. He ran to the hill in front of the animals and roared three times. He traced the tale back to the first Rabbit, and taking him on his back, ran with him to the foot of the hill where the palm tree grew. There, under the tree, lay a cocoanut. The Lion explained the sound the Rabbit had heard, then ran back and told the other animals, and they all stopped running. Brother Rabbit Takes Some Exercise, a tale from Nights with Uncle Remus is very similar to Henny Penny and could be used at the same time. It is also similar to Grimm's Wolf and Seven Kids, the English Story of Three Pigs, the Irish The End of the World, and an Italian popular tale.
The Sheep and the Pig, adapted from the Scandinavian by Miss Bailey in For the Children's Hour, given also in Dasent's Tales from the Field, is a delightfully vivacious and humorous tale which reminds one of Henny Penny. A Sheep and Pig started out to find a home, to live together. They traveled until they met a Rabbit and then followed this dialogue:
R. "Where are you going?"
S. and P. "We are going to build us a house."
R. "May I live with you?"
S. and P. "What can you do to help?"
The Rabbit scratched his leg with his left hind foot for a minute and said, "I can gnaw pegs with my sharp teeth and I can put them in with my paws." "Good," said the Sheep and the Pig, "you may come with us!" Then they met a gray Goose who could pull moss and stuff it in cracks, and a Cock who could crow early and waken all. So they all found a house and lived in it happily.
The Spanish Media Pollito, or Little Half-Chick, is another accumulative animal tale similar to Henny Penny, and one which is worthy of university study. The disobedient but energetic hero who went off to Madrid is very appealing and constantly amusing, and the tale possesses unusual beauty. The interest centers in the character. The beauty lies in the setting of the adventures, as Medio Pollito came to a stream, to a large chestnut tree, to the wind, to the soldiers outside the city gates, to the King's Palace at Madrid, and to the King's cook, until in the end he reached the high point of immortalization as the weather-vane of a church steeple.
The Story of Three Pigs could contend with The Three Bears for the position of ideal story for little people. It suits them even better than The Three Bears, perhaps because they can identify themselves more easily with the hero, who is a most winning, clever individual, though a Pig. The children know nothing of the standards of the Greek drama, but they recognize a good thing; and when the actors in their story are great in interest and in liveliness, they respond with a corresponding appreciation. The dramatic element in The Three Pigs is strong and all children love to dramatize it. The story is the Italian Three Goslings, the Negro Tiny Pig, the Indian Lambikin, and the German The Wolf and Seven Kids. This tale is given by Andrew Lang in his Green Fairy Book. The most satisfactory presentation of the story is given by Leslie Brooke in his Golden Goose Book. The German version occurred in an old poem, Reinhart Fuchs, in which the Kid sees the Wolf through a chink. Originally the characters must have been Kids, for little pigs do not have hair on their "chinny chin chins."
One of the earliest modern animal tales is The Good-Natured Bear, by Richard Hengist Horne, the English critic. This tale was written in 1846, just when men were beginning to gain a greater knowledge of animal life. It is both psychological and imaginative. It was brought to the attention of the English public in a criticism, On Some Illustrated Christmas Books, by Thackeray, who considered it one of the "wittiest, pleasantest, and kindest of books, and an admirable story." It is now out of print, but it seems to be worthy of being preserved and reprinted. The story is the autobiography of a Bear, who first tells about his interesting experiences as a Baby Bear. He first gives to Gretchen and the children gathered about him an account of his experience when his Mother first taught him to walk alone.
III. The Humorous Tale
The humorous tale is one of the most pleasing to the little child. It pleases everybody, but it suits him especially because the essence of humor is a mixture of love and surprise, and both appeal to the child completely. Humor brings joy into the world, so does the little child, their very existence is a harmony. Humor sees contrasts, shows good sense, and feels compassion. It stimulates curiosity. Its laughter is impersonal and has a social and spiritual effect. It acts like fresh air, it clarifies the atmosphere of the mind and it enables one to see things in a sharply defined light. It reveals character; it breaks up a situation, reconstructs it, and so views life, interprets it. It plays with life, it frees the spirit, and it invigorates the soul.
Speaking of humor, Thackeray, in "A Grumble About Christmas Books," 1847, considered that the motto for humor should be the same as the talisman worn by the Prioress in Chaucer:—
About hire arm a broche of gold ful shene, On which was first ywritten a crowned A, And after, Amor vincit omnia.
He continued: "The works of the real humorist always have this sacred press-mark, I think. Try Shakespeare, first of all, Cervantes, Addison, poor Dick Steele, and dear Harry Fielding, the tender and delightful Jean Paul, Sterne, and Scott,—and Love is the humorist's best characteristic and gives that charming ring to their laughter in which all the good-natured world joins in chorus."
The humorous element for children appears in the repetition of phrases such as we find in Three Bears, Three Pigs, and Three Billy-Goats; in the contrast in the change of voice so noticeable also in these three tales; in the contrast of ideas so conspicuous in Kipling's Elephant's Child; and in the element of surprise so evident when Johnny Cake is eaten by the Fox, or when Little Hen eats the bread, or when Little Pig outwits the Wolf. The humorous element for children also lies in the incongruous, the exaggerated, or in the grotesque, so well displayed in Lear's Nonsense Rhymes, and much of the charm of Alice in Wonderland. The humorous element must change accordingly for older children, who become surprised less easily, and whose tales therefore, in order to surprise, must have more clever ideas and more subtle fancy.
The Musicians of Bremen is a good type of humorous tale. It shows all the elements of true humor. Its philosophy is healthy; it views life as a whole and escapes tragedy by seeing the comic situation in the midst of trouble. It is full of the social good-comradeship which is a condition of humor. It possesses a suspense that is unusual, and is a series of surprises with one grand surprise to the robbers at their feast as its climax. The Donkey is a noble hero who breathes a spirit of courage like that of the fine Homeric heroes. His achievement of a home is a mastery that pleases children. And the message of the tale, which after all, is its chief worth—that there ought to be room in the world for the aged and the worn out, and that "The guilty flee when no man pursueth"—appeals to their compassion and their good sense. The variety of noises furnished by the different characters is a pleasing repetition with variation that is a special element of humor; and the grand chorus of music leaves no doubt as to the climax. We must view life with these four who are up against the facts of life, and whose lot presents a variety of contrast. The Donkey, incapacitated because of old age, had the courage to set out on a quest. He met the Dog who could hunt no longer, stopping in the middle of the road, panting for breath; the Cat who had only stumps for teeth, sitting in the middle of the road, wearing an unhappy heart behind a face dismal as three rainy Sundays; and the Rooster who just overheard the cook say he was to be made into soup next Sunday, sitting on the top of the gate crowing his last as loud as he could crow. The Donkey, to these musicians he collected, spoke as a leader and as a true humorist.
In a simple tale like The Bremen Town Musicians it is surprising how much of interest can develop: the adventure in the wood; the motif of some one going to a tree-top and seeing from there a light afar off, which appears in Hop-o'-my-Thumb and in many other tales; the example of cooeperation, where all had a unity of purpose; an example of a good complete short-story form which illustrates introduction, setting, characters and dialogue—all these proclaim this one of the fine old stories. In its most dramatic form, and to Jacobs its most impressive one, it appears in the Celtic tales as Jack and His Comrades. It may have been derived from Old Sultan, a Grimm tale which is somewhat similar to The Wolf and the Hungry Dog, in Steinhowel, 1487. How Jack Sought His Fortune is an English tale of cooeperation which is similar but not nearly so pleasing. A Danish tale of cooperation, Pleiades, is found in Lansing's Fairy Tales. How Six Traveled Through the World is a Grimm tale which, though suited to older children, contains the same general theme.
Very many of the tales suited to kindergarten children which have been mentioned in various chapters, contain a large element of humor. The nonsense drolls are a type distinct from the humorous tale proper, yet distinctly humorous. Such are the realistic Lazy Jack, Henny Penny, and Billy Bobtail. Then since repetition is an element of humor, many accumulative tales rank as humorous: such as Lambikin, The Old Woman and Her Pig, Medio Pollito, The Straw Ox, Johnny Cake, and Three Billy-Goats. Among the humorous tales proper are Andersen's Snow Man; The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership; The Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings; The Elephant's Child; and very many of the Uncle Remus Tales, such as Why the Hawk Catches Chickens, Brother Rabbit and Brother Tiger, and Heyo, House! all in Uncle Remus and the Little Boy. The Story of Little Black Mingo in Tales of Laughter, is a very attractive humorous tale, but it is more suited to the child of the second grade.
Drakesbill is a French humorous accumulative tale with a plot constructed similarly to that of the Cossack Straw Ox. Drakesbill, who was so tiny they called him Bill Drake, was a great worker and soon saved a hundred dollars in gold which he lent to the King. But as the King never offered to pay, one morning Drakesbill set out, singing as he went, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?" To all the objects he met and to their questions he replied, "I am going to the King to ask him to pay me what he owes me." When they begged, "Take me with you!" he was willing, but he said, "You must make yourself small, get into my mouth, and creep under my tongue!" He arrived at the palace with his companions concealed in his mouth: a Fox, a Ladder, Laughing River, and Wasp-Nest. On asking to see the King, he was not escorted with dignity but sent to the poultry-yard, to the turkeys and chickens who fought him. Then he surprised them by calling forth the Fox who killed the fowls. When he was thrown into a well, he called out the Ladder to help him. When about to be thrown into the fire, he called out the River who overwhelmed the rest and left him serenely swimming. When surrounded by the King's men and their swords he called out the Wasp-Nest who drove away all but Drakesbill, leaving him free to look for his money. But he found none as the King had spent all. So he seated himself upon the throne and became King. The element of humor here, as has been mentioned previously, is that Drakesbill, after every rebuff of fortune maintained his happy, fresh vivacity, and triumphantly repeated his one cry, "Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back?" There is humor, too, in the repetition of dialogue, as on his way to the King he met the various characters and talked to them. Humor lies also in the real lively surprises which Drakesbill so effectively gave during his visit to the King. One can see how this tale might have been a satire reflecting upon a spendthrift King.
IV. The Realistic Tale
The realistic fairy tale has a great sympathy with humble life and desires to reproduce faithfully all life worth while. The spirit of it has been expressed by Kipling—
each in his separate star, Shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.
Sometimes the realistic story has a scientific spirit and interest. A realistic tale that is good will present not only what is true but what is possible, probable, or inevitable, making its truth impressive. Very often it does not reach this ideal. A transcript of actual life may be selected, but that is a photograph and not a picture with a strong purpose to make one point, and with artistic design. The characters, though true to life, may be lifeless and colorless, and their doings and what happens to them uninteresting. For this reason, many modern writers of tales for children, respecting the worth of the realistic, neglect to comply with what the realistic demands, and produce insipid, unconvincing tales. The realistic tale should deal with the simple and the ordinary rather than with the exceptional; and the test is not how much, but how little, credulity it arouses.
Grimm's Hans in Luck is a perfect realistic tale, as are Grimm's Clever Elsa and the Norse Three Sillies, although these tales are suited to slightly older children. The drolls often appear among the realistic tales, as if genuine humor were more fresh when related to the things of actual life. The English Lazy Jack is a delightful realistic droll which contains motifs that appear frequently among the tales. The Touchstone motif of a humble individual causing nobility to laugh appears in Grimm's Dummling and His Golden Goose. It appears also in Zerbino the Savage, a most elaborated Neapolitan tale retold by Laboulaye in his Last Fairy Tales; a tale full of humor, wit, and satire that would delight the cultured man of the world.
In Lazy Jack the setting is in humble life. A poor mother lived on the common with her indolent son and managed to earn a livelihood by spinning. One day the mother lost patience and threatened to send from home this idle son if he did not get work. So he set out. Each day he returned to his mother with his day's earnings. The humor lies in what he brought, in how he brought it, and in what happened to it; in the admonition of his mother, "You should have done so and so," and Jack's one reply, "I'll do so another time"; in Jack's literal use of his mother's admonition, and the catastrophe it brought him on the following day, and on each successive day, as he brought home a piece of money, a jar of milk, a cream cheese, a tom-cat, a shoulder of mutton, and at last a donkey. The humor lies in the contrast between what Jack did and what anybody "with sense" knows he ought to have done, until when royalty beheld him carrying the donkey on his shoulders, with legs sticking up in the air, it could bear no more, and burst into laughter. This is a good realistic droll to use because it impresses the truth, that even a little child must reason and judge and use his own common sense.
The Story of the Little Red Hen is a realistic tale which presents a simple picture of humble thrift. Andersen's Tin Soldier is a realistic tale which gives an adventure that might happen to a real tin soldier. The Old Woman and her Pig, whose history has been given under The Accumulative Tale, is realistic. Its theme is the simple experience of an aged peasant who swept her house, who had the unusual much-coveted pleasure of finding a dime, who went to market and bought a Pig for so small a sum. But on the way home, as the Pig became contrary when reaching a stile, and refused to go, the Old Woman had to seek aid. So she asked the Dog, the Stick, the Fire, etc. She asked aid first from the nearest at hand; and each object asked, in its turn sought help from the next higher power. One great source of pleasure in this tale is that each object whose aid is sought is asked to do the thing its nature would compel it to do—the Dog to bite, the Stick to beat, etc.; and each successive object chosen is the one which, by the law of its nature, is a master to the preceding one. The Dog, by virtue of ability to bite, has power over the Pig; the Stick has ability to master the Dog; and Water in its power to quench is master over Fire. Because of this intimate connection of cause and effect, this tale contributes in an unusual degree to the development of the child's reason and memory. He may remember the sequence of the plot or remake the tale if he forgets, by reasoning out the association between the successive objects from whom aid was asked. It is through this association that the memory is exercised.
How Two Beetles Took Lodgings, in Tales of Laughter, is a realistic story which has a scientific spirit and interest. Its basis of truth belongs to the realm of nature study. Its narration of how two Beetles set up housekeeping by visiting an ant-hill and helping themselves to the home and furnishings of the Ants, would be very well suited either to precede or to follow the actual study of an ant-hill by the children. The story gives a good glimpse of the home of the Ants, of their manner of living, and of the characteristics of the Ants and Beetles. It is not science mollified, but a good story full of life and humor, with a basis of scientific truth.
Many tales not realistic contain a large realistic element. The fine old romantic tales, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Bremen Town Musicians, have a large realistic element. In The Little Elves we have the realistic picture of a simple German home. In Beauty and the Beast we have a realistic glimpse of the three various ways the wealthy merchant's daughters accommodated themselves to their father's loss of fortune, which reminds us of a parallel theme in Shakespeare's King Lear. In Red Riding Hood we have the realistic starting out of a little girl to visit her grandmother. This realistic element appeals to the child because, as we have noted, it accords with his experience, and it therefore seems less strange.
In Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse the setting is realistic but becomes transformed into the romantic when natural doings of everyday life take on meaning from the unusual happening in the tale. It is realistic for Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse to live in a little house, to get some corn, to make a pudding, and to put it on to boil. But when the pot tumbled over and scalded Titty, the romantic began. The stool which was real and common and stood by the door became transformed with animation, it talked: "Titty's dead, and so I weep"; and it hopped! Then a broom caught the same animation from the same theme, and swept; a door jarred; a window creaked; an old form ran round the house; a walnut tree shed its leaves; a little bird moulted his pretty feathers; a little girl spilled her milk; a man tumbled off his ladder; and the walnut tree fell with a crash, upsetting everything and burying Titty in the ruins. They all learned to convey the same message. The common and customary became uncommon and unusual with extraordinary life, feeling, and lively movement.
Other romantic tales with a large realistic element are The Three Bears, The Three Pigs, and The Three Billy-Goats, animal tales which of necessity must be largely realistic, for their foundation is in the facts of the nature, habits, and traits of the animal characters they portray.
V. The Romantic Tale
The romantic tale reflects emotion and it contains adventure and the picturesque; it deals with dreams, distant places, the sea, the sky, and objects of wonder touched with beauty and strangeness. The purpose of the romantic is to arouse emotion, pity, or the sense of the heroic; and it often exaggerates character and incidents beyond the normal. The test of the romantic tale as well as of the realistic tale is in the reality it possesses. This reality it will possess, not only because it is true, but because it is also true to life. And it is to be remembered that because of the unusual setting in a romantic tale the truth it presents stands out very clearly with much impressiveness. Red Riding Hood is a more impressive tale than The Three Bears.
Cinderella is a good type of the old romantic tale. It has a never-ending attraction for children just as it has had for all peoples of the world; for this tale has as many as three hundred and forty-five variants, which have been examined by Miss Cox. In these variants there are many common incidents, such as the hearth abode, the helpful animal, the heroine disguise, the ill-treated heroine, the lost shoe, the love-sick prince, magic dresses, the magic tree, the threefold flight, the false bride, and many others. But the one incident which claims the tale as a Cinderella tale proper, is the recognition of the heroine by means of her shoe. In the Greek Rhodope, the slipper is carried off by an eagle and dropped into the lap of the King of Egypt, who seeks and marries the owner. In the Hindu tale the Rajah's daughter loses her slipper in the forest where it is found by the Prince. The interpretation of Cinderella is that the Maiden, the Dawn, is dull and gray away from the brightness of the sun. The Sisters are the Clouds that shadow the Dawn, and the Stepmother is Night. The Dawn hurries away from the pursuing Prince, the Sun, who, after a long search, overtakes her in her glorious robes of sunset.
This tale is the Hindu Sodewa Bai, the Zuni Poor Turkey Girl, and the English Rushen Coatie, Cap-o'-Rushes, and Catskin. Catskin, which Mr. Burchell told to the children of the Vicar of Wakefield, is considered by Newell as the oldest of the Cinderella types, appearing in Straparola in 1550, while Cinderella appeared first in Basile in 1637. Catskin, in ballad form as given by Halliwell, was printed in Aldermary Churchyard, England, in 1720; and the form as given by Jacobs well illustrates how the prose tale developed from the old ballad. The two most common forms of Cinderella are Perrault's and Grimm's, either of which is suited to the very little child. Perrault's Cinderella shows about twenty distinct differences from the Grimm tale:—
(1) It omits the Mother's death-bed injunction to Cinderella.
(2) It omits the wooden shoes and the cloak.
(3) The Stepmother assigns more modern tasks. It omits the pease-and-beans task.
(4) It shows Cinderella sleeping in a garret instead of on the hearth.
(5) It omits the Father.
(6) It omits the hazel bough.
(7) It omits the three wishes.
(8) It substitutes the fairy Godmother for the hazel tree and the friendly doves.
(9) It substitutes transformation for tree-shaking.
(10) It omits the episode of the pear tree and of the pigeon-house.
(11) It omits the use of pitch and axe-cutting.
(12) It omits the false bride and the two doves.
(13) It substitutes two nights at the ball for three nights.
(14) It makes C. forgiving and generous at the end. The Sisters are not punished.
(15) It contains slippers of glass instead of slippers of gold.
(16) It simplifies the narrative, improves the structure, and puts in the condition, which is a keystone to the structure.
(17) It has no poetical refrain.
(18) It is more direct and dramatic.
(19) It draws the characters more clearly.
(20) Is it not more artificial and conventional?
This contrast shows the Grimm tale to be the more poetical, while it is the more complex, and contains more barbarous and gruesome elements unsuited to the child of to-day. Of the two forms, the Grimm tale seems the superior tale, however, and if rewritten in a literary form suited to the child, might become even preferable.
Sleeping Beauty, which is another romantic tale that might claim to be the most popular fairy tale, has for its theme the long sleep of winter and the awakening of spring. The Earth goddess, pricked by winter's dart, falls into a deep sleep from which she is awakened by the Sun who searches far for her. This tale is similar to the Norse Balder and the Greek Persephone. Some of its incidents appear also in The Two Brothers, an Egyptian tale of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Seti II, in which the Hathors who pronounce the fate of the Prince correspond to the wicked old Fairy. The spindle whose prick caused slumber is the arrow that wounded Achilles, the thorn which pricked Siegfried, the mistle-toe which wounded Balder, and the poisoned nail of the demon in Surya Bai. In the northern form of the story we find the ivy, which is the one plant that can endure winter's touch. The theme of the long sleep occurs in the mediaeval legend of The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, in the English The King of England and His Three Sons, poetically as Tennyson has given it in his Day-Dream, and in the Story of Brunhilde, in Siegfried. Here a hedge of flames encircles Brunhilde who is awakened at the touch of Siegfried's magic sword, just as Sleeping Beauty is awakened by the Prince's kiss. The kiss may be a survival of an ancient form of worship of some local goddess. In the Hindu Panch-Rhul Ranee, seven ditches surmounted by seven hedges of spears, surround the heroine. Of the Perrault and Grimm versions of Sleeping Beauty, the Perrault version is long and complex because it contains the minor tale of the cruel stepmother added to the main tale, while the Grimm Briar Rose is a model of structure easily separated into ten leading episodes. Sleeping Beauty appeared in Basile's Pentamerone where there is given the beautiful incident of the baby sucking the spike of flax out of its sleeping mother's fingers. The Perrault version agrees with that of Basile in naming the twins, who are Sun and Moon in the Pentamerone, Day and Dawn.
Red Riding Hood is another romantic tale that could claim to be the one most popular fairy tale of all fairy tales. Similar tales occur in the story of the Greek Kronos swallowing his children, in the Algonquin legend repeated in Hiawatha, and in an Aryan story of a Dragon swallowing the sun and being killed by the sun-god, Indra. Red Riding Hood appeals to a child's sense of fear, it gives a thrill which if not too intense, is distinctly pleasing. But it pleases less noticeably perhaps because of its atmosphere of love and service, and because it presents a picture of a dear little maid. The Grandmother's gift of love to the child, the bright red hood, the mother's parting injunction, the Wolf's change of aspect and voice to suit the child—all these directly and indirectly emphasize love, tenderness, and appreciation of simple childhood. The child's errand of gratitude and love, the play in the wood, the faith in the woodcutter's presence—all are characteristic of a typical little maid and one to be loved. There is in the tale too, the beauty of the wood—flowers, birds, and the freshness of the open air. The ending of the tale is varied. In Perrault the Wolf ate Grandmother and then ate Red Riding Hood. In Grimm one version gives it that the Hunter, hearing snoring, went to see what the old lady needed. He cut open the Wolf, and Grandmother and Red Riding Hood became alive. He filled the Wolf with stones. When the Wolf awoke, he tried to run, and died. All three were happy; the Hunter took the skin, Grandmother had her cake and wine, and Red Riding Hood was safe and had her little girl's lesson of obedience. Another Grimm ending is that Little Red-Cap reached the Grandmother before the Wolf, and after telling her that she had met him, they both locked the door. Then they filled a trough with water in which the sausages had been boiled. When the Wolf tried to get in and got up on the roof, he was enticed by the odor, and fell into the trough. A great deal of freedom has been used in re-telling the ending of this tale, usually with the purpose of preventing the Wolf from eating Red Riding Hood. In regard to the conclusion of Red Riding Hood, Thackeray said: "I am reconciled to the Wolf eating Red Riding Hood because I have given up believing this is a moral tale altogether and am content to receive it as a wild, odd, surprising, and not unkindly fairy story."
The interpretation of Red Riding Hood—which the children need not know—is that the evening Sun goes to see her Grandmother, the Earth, who is the first to be swallowed up by the Wolf of Night and Darkness. The red cloak is the twilight glow. The Hunter may be the rising Sun that rescues all from Night. Red Riding Hood has been charmingly elaborated in Tieck's Romantic Poems, and a similar story appears in a Swedish popular song, Jungfrun i'Blaskagen, in Folkviser 3; 68, 69.
VI, VII. The Old Tale and the Modern Tale.
The old fairy tale is to be distinguished from the modern fairy tale. Most of the tales selected have been old tales because they possess the characteristics suited to the little child. The modern fairy tale may be said to begin with Andersen's Fairy Tales.—Since Andersen has been referred to frequently and as a study of The Tin Soldier has already been given, Andersen's work can receive no more detailed treatment here.—The modern fairy tale, since the time of Andersen, has yet to learn simplicity and sincerity. It often is long and involved and presents a multiplicity of images that is confusing. It lacks the great art qualities of the old tale, the central unity and harmony of character and plot. The idea must be the soul of the narrative, and the problem is to make happen to the characters things that are expressive of the idea. The story must hold by its interest, and must be sincere and inevitable to be convincing. It must understand that the method of expression must be the method of suggestion and not that of detail. The old tale set no boundaries to its suggestion. It used concrete artistry; but because the symbol expressed less it implied more. The modern tale is more definitely intentional and it often sets boundaries to its suggestion because the symbol expresses so much. Frequently it emphasizes the satiric and critical element, and its humor often is heavy and clumsy. To be literature, as has been pointed out, besides characters, plot, setting, and dialogue, a classic must present truth; it must have emotion and imagination molded with beauty into the form of language; and it must have the power of a classic to bestow upon the mind a permanent enrichment. Any examination of the modern fairy tale very frequently shows a failure to meet these requirements.
The modern tale is not so poor, however, when we mention such tales as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Oscar Wilde's Happy Prince, Alice Brown's Gradual Fairy, Frances Browne's Prince Fairyfoot, Miss Mulock's Little Lame Prince, Barrie's Peter Pan, Jean Ingelow's Mopsa, the Fairy and The Ouphe in the Wood, Field's The Story of Claus, Stockton's Old Pipes and the Dryad, Kingsley's Water Babies, Ruskin's King of the Golden River, Collodi's Pinocchio, Maeterlinck's Blue-Bird, Kipling's Just-So Stories and the tales of the Jungle Books, Selma Lagerloef's Wonderful Adventures of Nils, the Uncle Remus Tales of Harris, etc. But these classics are, with a few exceptions, the richness of the primary and elementary literature. The modern fairy tale suited to the kindergarten child, is at a disadvantage, for most likely it is hidden away in some magazine, waiting for appreciation to bring some attention to it. And in these complex modern days it is difficult to secure a tale whose simplicity suits the little child.
Among the best tales for little people are Miss Harrison's Hans and the Four Giants and Little Beta and the Lame Giant. In Little Beta and the Lame Giant a natural child is placed in unusual surroundings, where the gentleness of the giant and the strength of love in the little girl present strong contrasts that please and satisfy. The Sea Fairy and the Land Fairy in Some Fairies I have Met, by Mrs. Stawell, though possessing much charm and beauty, is too complicated for the little people. It is a quarrel of a Sea Fairy and a Land Fairy. It is marked by good structure, it presents a problem in the introduction, has light fancy suited to its characters, piquant dialogue, good description, visualized expressions, and it presents distinct pictures. Its method is direct and it gets immediately into the story. Its method of personification, which in this, perhaps the best story of the collection, is rather delightful, in some of the others is less happy and is open to question. How Double Darling's Old Shoes Became Lady Slippers, by Candace Wheeler, in St. Nicholas, is a really delightful modern fairy story suited to be read to the little child. It is the experience of a little girl with new shoes and her dream about her old shoes. But the story lacks in structure, there is not the steady rise to one great action, the episode of the Santa Claus tree is somewhat foreign and unnecessary, and the conclusion falls flat because the end seems to continue after the problem has been worked out.
In The Dwarf's Tailor, by Underhill, there is much conversation about things and an indirect use of language, such as "arouse them to reply" and "continued to question," which is tedious. The humor is at times heavy, quoting proverbs, such as "The pitcher that goes too often to the well is broken at last." The climax is without interest. The scene of the Dwarfs around the fire—in which the chief element of humor seems to be that the Tailor gives the Dwarf a slap—is rather foolish than funny. The details are trite and the transformation misses being pleasing. Again there is not much plot and the story does not hold by its interest. In The Golden Egg and the Cock of Gold, by Scudder, the conversation is not always to the point, is somewhat on the gossipy order, is trite, and the suspense is not held because the climax is told beforehand. Mrs. Burton Harrison's Old Fashioned Fairy Book is very pleasing, but it was written for her two sons, who were older children. It has the fault of presenting too great a variety of images and it lacks simplicity of structure. Its Juliet, or The Little White Mouse, which seems to be a re-telling of D'Aulnoy's Good Little Mouse, contains a good description of the old-time fairy dress. Deep Sea Violets, perhaps the best-written story in the book, gives a good picture of a maiden taken to a Merman's realm. Rosy's Stay-at-Home Parties has delightful imagination similar to that of Andersen.
Five Little Pigs, by Katherine Pyle, is a delightful little modern story, which could be used with interest by the child who knows The Story of Three Little Pigs. The Little Rooster, by Southey, is a very pleasing realistic tale of utmost simplicity which, because of its talking animals, might be included here. A criticism of this tale, together with a list of realistic stories containing some realistic fairy tales suited to the kindergarten, may be read in Educational Foundations, October, 1914. The Hen That Hatched Ducks, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is a pleasing and sprightly humorous tale of Madam Feathertop and her surprising family of eight ducks, and of Master Gray Cock, Dame Scratchard and Dr. Peppercorn. A modern tale that is very acceptable to the children is The Cock, the Mouse, and the Little Red Hen, by Felicite Lefevre, which is a re-telling of the Story of the Little Red Hen combined with the story of The Little Rid Hin. In this tale the two old classic stories are preserved but re-experienced, with such details improvised as a clever child would himself naturally make. These additional details appeal to his imagination and give life-likeness and freshness to the tale, but they do not detract from the impression of the original or confuse the identity of the characters in the old tales.